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NEW ORLEANS – Sidney Noel Rideau, better known to generations of New Orleans TV fans as his alter ego Morgus the Magnificent, has passed away. He was 90 years old.

Rideau was on the air as Morgus from 1959 until 1988. He was the mad scientist who made you feel good with every experiment that went bad.

Sidney Rideau’s daughter, Natalie Rideau, confirmed her father’s death of natural causes this afternoon and provided the following obituary:

Sidney Noel Rideau, beloved husband of Aldona Nalecz-Tyminska Rideau, father of Robin Douglas Rideau (Ann), Natalie Noelle Rideau, and son of the late Sidney James and Annette (Moore) Rideau and brother of Lois Rideau DeLaup Anderson and Maurice James Rideau, passed away on August 27 at the age of 90. Sid, as all who knew him, was born in New Orleans on Christmas day, 1929. As a young child, he was told that Santa Claus delivered him. He held on to the belief, especially when on Christmas day, 1934, his baby sister Lois was delivered in the Rideau home by the doctor and Santa Claus. The Christmas spirit remained in the family throughout the years. Sid was graduated from Alcee Fortier High School. During the Korean War, he served 8 years, honorably, in the U.S. Navy Reserve. From the 1950s, Sid’s professional name is fondly remembered as Sid Noel, the host of WWL radio’s morning Dawnbusters program, which replaced the original Dawnbusters live studio orchestra, hosted by Henry Dupre. Earlier, while attending Loyola University in communications studies, Sid’s creative faculty was already on display. As master of ceremonies of the music department’s Campus Capers, he led the college’s charity entertainment group that visited hospitals and nursing homes throughout the region. The group included opera singers Norman Treigle and Audrey Schuh. In 1957, Loyola University acquired the license for Channel 4 Television station (WWL-TV). In January, 1959, with his identity kept secret, Sid created and became the mad but hilarious scientist Dr. Momus Alexander Morgus the Magnificent, whose quixotic, scientific experiments caused a sensation as host of WWL-TV’s Saturday night movies. The character’s popularity was overwhelming, and continued on and off various television stations, countrywide, for over half a century. Throughout the years, Sid generously used the popularity of the Morgus character to raise funds for local charities, civic causes, and WYES-TV auctions. In between, he had other projects that kept him busy in New York, Detroit and New Orleans. He wrote, produced and hosted over 500 television programs, 180 in syndication. Beyond radio and television, Sid was a storyteller. Fables were his teaching tools. He patented and manufactured what may be the first “fable-telling” attraction called The Story Castle. From telephones attached, children listened to The Castle’s audio stories that spread joy and bits of moral education in shopping malls throughout the United States, and in Canada. Privately, Sid enjoyed being home with family and restoring various houses throughout the years. What he cherished most in life was his beloved wife, Donia, with her ever-present gracefulness and warmth. He deeply treasured the 52 happy years of marriage they lived, and the pride, love and joy they shared with their two gifted and remarkable children. Together, they loved their extended family in Texas, Canada and Covington. They cherished the friendships shared with close friends and neighbors in New Orleans and Covington. In the early 1990s, Sid turned his interest toward the growing violence and disciplinary problems in schools throughout the country and at a time, character education became an initiative with educators. As S. Noel Rideau, he authored and published a K-5 reading program titled Uncle Noel’s Fun Fables, which got parents involved in reading with their children. The program was featured on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Sid also made school visits with his live presentation Storytelling for Character. In 1993, he was invited into the newly organized Character Education Partnership, Inc. in Washington, D.C.. In addition, he was a lifetime member of The Storytelling Network. At the beginning of the 21st century, he began developing, on the Internet, a K-12, “ethics for kids” reading program as a free supplementary resource for schools. The 52 original stories titled “Fables to Grow On” were incorporated into what became the Internet Story Club of America, Inc. Co-founded and hosted by The New Orleans Public Library, it became an independent, 501c(3) non-profit charity. It serves all ages on the Web at: InternetStoryClub.Org. The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Christwood Retirement Community in Covington and Notre Dame Hospice for their devoted service and compassionate care and the multitudes of devoted Morgus fans whose loyalty and love have spanned many decades and generations. In lieu of flowers, donations to his favorite charities are gratefully accepted: The Northshore Humane Society, 20384 Harrison Avenue, Covington, LA 70433, or the The Humane Society of Louisiana, P. O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174, Private memorial services will be held at a later date.